Equine Science Society Symposium 2023
The 2023 Equine Science Society Symposium took place in Grapevine, TX from June 6-9. The Gluck Equine Research Center was well represented with seven oral presentations and two posters. On the first day of the conference Erica Jacquay, Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Amanda Adams lab and Lauren Johnson, Ph.D. student in Dr. Ted Kalbfleisch’s lab, both participated in the graduate student competition giving talks on results from a nationwide road transportation survey and introgression in the horse genome, respectively.
Results from Erica’s survey found that while horses are being frequently transported by road in the U.S. for a wide variety of reasons, the most common reason was trail or leisure riding with the most common trip length being three hours or less. Additionally, the reasons for transporting horses varied by riding discipline and trip length.
This was Lauren’s first ESS conference and she “can’t wait another two years for the next one! It was such a welcoming group, and I immediately made some connections with other attendees.” Lauren presented preliminary results for her doctoral research, which looks at the functional implication of putatively identified introgressed regions within the horse genome.
The second day of the conference consisted of workshops in the morning and industry tours in the afternoon to Highpoint Performance Horses to meet some of the top barrel racing stallions and a collection of exotic animals including giraffes, tortoises, camels, and more. The day ended at the Fort Worth Stockyards to watch the long horn cattle drive and to attend dinner at the famous Billy Bob’s Texas.
On the final day of the conference adjunct assistant professor Dr. Shavahn Loux presented on the benefits of intrauterine vitamin D3, postdoctoral scholar Dr. Brittany Perron talked about how different storage handling techniques impact nutrient analysis of grass pasture samples, and Mackenzie Johnson shared results from her recently defended master’s thesis on how high-speed training in thoroughbreds impacts mRNA expression.
Brittany investigated various methods of handling forage prior to analysis in order to preserve the nutrient content, and provide accurate analyses, of mixed-grass pasture for the equine owner. The results indicated horse owners should consider storing grass pasture samples in a refrigerator and/or at -20°C for up to one week to obtain the most consistent nutrient analysis.
Mackenzie’s research identified genes that could serve as predictors of injury in training Thoroughbreds at two- and three-weeks prior to injury and found that injured and non-injured horses demonstrated inverse patterns of an anti-inflammatory index expression in relation to weekly high-speed furlongs. She thought ESS was “a wonderful time full of engaging conversations, catching up with old co-workers, and making new industry friends – most notably were those who I have spent hours reading their research and finally got to meet in person.”
There were two poster presentations: Morgan Askins, Ph.D. student in Dr. Amanda Adams lab, on how pasture relocation impacts metabolic responses and Erica Jacquay on how horses are managed when transported on journeys of three hours or less.
Morgan’s project showed that based on the results of individual insulin dysregulated horses, the stress of moving to new pasture could have an impact on insulin responses. Therefore, it is important to be cautious and consider monitoring ID horses after housing relocation. Morgan was “thankful to have the opportunity to present my research, attend sessions for learning and networking with other likeminded individuals while at ESS.”
Additionally, two former Gluck graduate students gave presentations. Dr. Erica Macon discussed using a cereal grain in dynamic testing for insulin dysregulated horses and Dr. Alisa Herbst presented on how aged horses are managed and the prevalence of medical conditions in the senior horse.
Overall, everyone had a great time learning about the latest equine science research while getting to converse with fellow students, faculty, and industry members from around the world who share the same passion for the horse.
The graduate students would like to thank the Gluck Equine Research Center for providing funding support to attend the 2023 Equine Science Society Symposium.
- A survey of general road transportation of horses in the United States
- Introgression within the horse's genome
- Effects of storage-handling methods on nutrient analysis of mixed-grass pasture samples
- Effect of high-speed training in 2-year-old Thoroughbreds on select mRNA expression
- Effect of paddock relocation on metabolic responses of insulin dysregulated horses
- Management of horses transported by road in the US on journeys of three hours or less
- Intrauterine vitamin D3 improves inflammation resolution in mares susceptible to persistent breeding-induced endometritis
- Can a common cereal grain be used to help indicate the presence of insulin dysregulation
- US senior horses: When are they considered “old” and how does that affect their management?
- US senior horses: Prevalence of medical conditions and routine preventative veterinary care
Pictured: Erica Jacquay, Morgan Askins,
Dr. Amanda Adams, Dr. Brittany Perron, Mackenzie Johnson